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Civil War soldier makes himself at home in Frederick County home

(Oct. 27, 1995) One Frederick County resident doesn't have to be convinced ghosts exist -- his family spent decades in a home which he said is haunted by their Civil War soldier. The home's current owner asked that the house not be identified, but the man whose family lived there for many years recalled a vivid memory recently.

At 17, the man said he was laying on the couch in the home's living room late one evening when he closed his eyes momentarily. When he opened them, a dark-haired man in a long coat with a white shirt and tight small collar, stood at the end of the couch. The man said he put his bands back over his face and when he looked again, the soldier was gone. The man said he believes the ghost is the same "dead soldier" who appeared periodically to different members of his family.

"It scared the blood right out of me," said the man, who said he now wishes he had held his composure and tried to talk to the figure. "I blew the opportunity to have some kind of communication."

Another time, the man's two sisters, who occupied separate bedrooms, both saw a shadowy figure walk through their rooms around 3 in the morning. And guests staying at the house once said they saw a man walk around their room early in the morning, but none of the family's male members had been in the room.

On another occasion shortly after the family moved into the house, the man said he and his brother were doing their homework when their mother yelled at them to stop pounding -- but neither boy was making any noise. They went to see their mother when all three heard the noise. Downstairs they discovered that a warped door that the family had never been able to open was standing wide open. The door led to a back hallway in the center of the house that led to the trap door to a secret room.

The man also remembers separate incidences when knocks could be heard on the windows all over the house, and the time his family's dogs stood in the yard in a circle barking at something unseen to the family.

Although the family lived in the house close to a half a century, the man said he and his family were never frightened.

"There were certainly some bad spirits out there, I guess. This guy was a good guy," said the man. "My parents believed it, it's something all of us believed. We figured this was his house too. We didn't hassle him and he didn't hassle us."

Note: This story is reprinted from The Northern Virginia Daily's Oct. 27, 1995 Real Estate section.

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